Last night HLP and I got to enjoy a pretty stellar game. We were a little disheartened that our fabled pitcher's duel didn't come to fruition, baffled by Adam Everett making solid contact twice, and though we couldn't quite see it well, positive that Josh Anderson was out by a mile on that steal. It was fun to be in the park to feel the energy of the crowd as we rallied back, so all in all, it was a great first game in 2009 for the both of us. It could have only been made better if Jim Leeland would have come out and just jacked Joel Zumaya in the face after he walked in the tying run (something HLP and I speculated about has he made his march to the mound).
Quite a bit of news and notes to pass on your way for your Saturday morning enjoyment:
- Clack has already detailed the Brandon Backe designation, but he had quite a bit to say to JJO about the designation:
- Mike Hampton will be activated from the DL on Tuesday. He threw a 60 pitch simulated game prior last night's game and felt fine. That makes two likely long games for the Astros bullpen to cover for in a short period of time (Felipe Paulino's start today being the other).
- Last night, first round pick, Jiovanni Mier, was introduced at a press conference, and at the game. He looked good wearing an Astros uniform, so hopefully he doesn't take too long to don one all the time.
- Edwin Maysonet could someday be our back up catcher:
- The Astros are, again, slated for a 73-89 season in the BtB's Poor Man's Projected Standings.
- I stumbled across this in my RSS feed yesterday afternoon and I'm linking to it only because after reading it I made this note: "What planet does this guy live on? Obviously not the planet where you fully research and/or think about things before you publish them."
- More Hit/fx analysis from FanGraphs looking at the difference in the speed of the bat and launch between HR hitters and contact guys.
- The Hardball Times is rolling out a nifty little WPA tool. I look forward to losing most of my day today testing it out.
"It's extremely difficult just the way — I kind of hate to say it — just the way that I was treated," he said. "I was given a schedule of five starts in the minor leagues to get myself rehabbed and back in the rotation. Then they threw another (rehab start) on me at the end to go to Round Rock and pitch. Once that's over with they played the game, 'I don't know what's going on,' until the last minute.
"And then all of the sudden I'm in the bullpen. Mentally that's pretty frustrating. Then not only being in the bullpen but just getting, so to speak, 'scrap' work. It's difficult. I was thrown into something that was out of the norm and was expected to do well, apparently. And it was tough to just battle the mental demons inside of just being treated the way that I was."
"Last year in Triple-A, I started catching bullpens, and here they told me if I wanted to do it I could," he said. "I guess I'm doing OK, because they told me I'm the backup catcher. It's something I want to learn. The more positions I can play, the more I can help the team win."